Collected by Max Hunter (H -11)
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Mrs. Laura McDonald
Reel 253-54, Item 21
The Dying Nun
Let the air blow in upon me,
Let me see the midnight sky;
Stand back, Sisters, from around me;
God, it is so hard to die.
Raise my pillow up, oh Martha;
Sister Martha, you were kind.
Come and stand along beside me
Ere I leave you all behind.
Hold my hand, so cold and frozen;
Once they were so soft and white;
And this ring that felt so fondly,
Clasped my finger once so tight.
Little ring, they though so worthless,
Thought they'd let me keep it there;
Only a plain pearl, encircled
With a lock of Douglas' hair.
Oh, my father, oh, my mother,
Can you not forget the past
When you hear a stranger tell you
How your stray lamb God had left?
And of all that once did love me,
Who will weep when I am dead?
Only you, oh, Sister Martha,
Keep your watch around my bed.
Sister Martha, Sister Martha,
You were kinder than the rest.
Raise my head and let me lean it,
While I live, upon your breast.
I was thinking of some music
That I heard long, long ago;
Oh, how sweet the nuns were singing
In a chapel soft and low.
The Dying Nun (Cont'd)
Reel 253-54, Item 21 (Cont'd).
But a strain of Heaven's music
Breaks the solemn midnight dream,
And I hear the marvelous feeling,
And I seem to float with him.
Douglas, Douglas, I am coming;
Where you are, I too will rest,
Freed at last, I come my dearest,
Death gives back your little Clara.
Sister, Martha, are you near me?
Has the moon gone down so soon?
Oh, the cell is cold as winter,
Though I know the day is June.
Sister, your heart . . . lying,
Sleeping in the dimly light;
Though your dreams come true, my vision,
Clara dies alone tonight.
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